Constitutional Court in serious trouble

2 11 2010

When opinion page writer at the Bangkok Post, Nattaya Chetchotiros, abandons the judges, then they are in trouble. She has a solid yellow-shirt/elite position on most things, and now she’s worried that the judges and the Constitutional Court are too compromised to be saved.

Of course, this is about the leaked videos apparently showing the judges negotiating all kinds of special deals for the Democrat Party, arranging cover-ups and even scams on exams. Is this the “rule of law” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva always bangs on about? Is this the legal system and judiciary he has repeatedly defended?

But back to Nattaya. This is some of what she says:

The release on Friday of a new video featuring a discussion between a former court employee and two men identified as judges has dealt a serious blow to the reputation of the Constitution Court.

The court’s credibility has now been shaken to the core following the release of the latest video clips uploaded on Friday….

She tries to defend the Democrat Party and the court, but it is a battle already lost. The court has been proven to be the preserve of the corrupt and a place where elite interests are preserved from the most major cases down to dirty little scams to help buddies get positions. The judiciary is tarred with the brush that has been painting the colors of corruption and double standards for a considerable time.

One thing Nattaya highlights that PPT had neglected is that “three men shown in the footage, two of them identified as judges as their faces were clearly seen at the beginning of the clip, seemed to be discussing ways to cover up wrongdoings related to the leaking of examination papers to people close to Constitution Court judges…. The exam to recruit court staff was held last year [… and] was supervised by then secretary-general of the court Paiboon Varahapaitoon. Mr Paiboon, now a National Human Rights commissioner, is spoken about in the video for allegedly being involved in the recruitment scam, along with Constitution Court judge Jarun Pukditanakul.”

Paiboon

This is the same Paiboon who recently reckoned that selling flip-flops with Abhisit’s face on them couldn’t be allowed. He was also a member of the junta-appointed Constituent Assembly in 2006. At the quite hopelessly biased NHRC, Paiboon was appointed to chair a NHRC subcommittee, to investigate the events related to the government’s crackdowns on red shirt demonstrators in April and May. Needless to say, that went nowhere. And, even earlier, he was one of those who arranged for the extraordinary events that saw the April 2006 election annulled. He’s been well-rewarded for his yellow-shirted loyalty and he obviously joined that part of the elite that thinks social position trumps all other characteristics usually associated with courts and justice.

Jarun

And what can we say about Judge Jarun Pukditanakul also seen apparently scamming? How about this from a 2008 Asia Sentinel article: “In selecting the first four of the court’s nine judges, the Supreme Court this week chose Jarun Pukditanakul. He became permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry after the coup and was instrumental in drafting the military’s 2007 constitution that he will be tasked to uphold.” Or this from Bangkok Pundit: “Mr Jarun is well known as a strong opponent of Mr Thaksin, while Mr Wasant was a defence witness in a libel suit filed by some former Constitution Court judges against Mr Thaksin’s bitter enemy Prasong Soonsiri, who wrote an article criticising the judges who ruled in favour of the former prime minister in the asset concealment case. The article was published in Naew Na on Aug 28, 2001. Sqn-Ldr Prasong was cleared of the libel charge.” Another elite workhorse rewarded for his loyalty in doing things for this corrupt ruling class.

Will they get a deserved comeuppance? Probably not what they deserve as their bosses are still in the political driving seat. Rule of law? Where?


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2 11 2010
Tweets that mention Constitutional Court in serious trouble « Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร, NEWSpace. NEWSpace said: Constitutional Court in serious trouble: When opinion page writer at the Bangkok Post, Nattaya Chetchotiros, aband… http://bit.ly/aDNoBO […]

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